Ever since we were kids, the common question “what’s your biggest fear?” has always come up. While some responded with “spiders” and others said “darkness,” I sat quiet.
How could I share my biggest fears with these strangers?
At the prime age of 6, my teacher forced me to spit it out. I looked up at her with big eyes and told her I didn’t fear insects or the like. I feared being alone forever.
She then looked back at me and sent me to the school psychiatrist. Just kidding – she patted my head, reassured me I’d never be alone, and walked on.
But how did she know? How could she have been so sure? Was the answer in the back of the math book that held all my homework answers?
After turning 25 and overcoming a break-up with my ex-fiancé, I almost crashed and burned because of the strong notion in my head that I had failed. I spent 6 months crying, being emotional, and feeling miserable. I gained weight, deleted my Facebook, and cut off contact from the world.
I was alone – but it was self-inflicted.
Then I met another guy. I know, I know, that’s how all stories start, and mine’s no different. I thought he was awesome, until I realized… just kidding! Not really.
So now I face another break up – and find myself flashing back to my deepest fear. Is it okay to be alone? Why am I so afraid?
After you date enough jerks, I’d like to think I’d embrace the thought of being alone. Instead I’m wondering: should I just adopt the cats now and take up knitting?
Okay, okay – I’ll put the needle and yarn down (for now) – but where the hell do I go from here?
How about I just start with the fear itself? When one’s afraid of heights, they climb to the tallest mountain and jump off (well, maybe that’s extreme and totally not real, but you get the point). If I simply embrace being alone, and focus on loving myself – will the fear dissipate and love pour in?
So here it is… today is the day I stop with the fear, and I begin with the love. Every move and step I take is one to better myself – not to bring myself down. If I want a hug, I’ll reach for a friend. It’s time I get the most out of life – and not to fear it. Not to loathe it, but rather, to wrap my arms around it and be okay with where I’m at in life. A breakup doesn’t mean the end of the world – it only means that you’re growing out of who you once thought you were.
I can comfortably say now that with age, my fear has turned from being lonely to being unhappy – and that is something within my control. I will not bind myself to the ties of a relationship because it’s better than being alone. The only reason I will link myself to another if it’s a truly happy situation and I wake up smiling every day. Until then, I’ll wake up smiling every day for me.